With the declaration of war, the United States needed to mobilize the military, and fast. After all, when compared with the might and numbers of its enemies, the United States military was small. Wilson responded to the need for a large military by instituting the draft. The Selective Service Act called for universal, male registration. Unlike the draft of the Civil War, purchased substitutes were not allowed because they had caused too many problems (riots to say the least). Nine million men signed up for the draft as soon as it became active, and over two and a half million men would be drafted into the military before the war ended. Although the draft met some dissenters, mostly socialists or racists opposed to blacks learning how to fight, it was widely successful in recruiting man power for the war. Americans, for the most part, supported the draft, and men were willing to fight for the Crusade for Democracy.
The United States mobilized more than just the military in response to World War I. In fact, organizing the home front turned out to be a much bigger challenge than recruiting men for the war. The economy and public opinion, too, had to be included into the war equation.
Mobilizing the economy was accomplished by cooperating closely with business and labor. Government, through the efforts of the newly created War Labor Board, adhered to a strategy that satisfied both parties. The eight hour day was implemented, an issue which labor unions had been fighting for since the turn of the century. Likewise, the government also required industries to pay a minimum wage and provide a safe and healthy working environment. In turn, unions signed strike agreements which prohibited workers from striking during the war. Employers, too, found ample opportunity...